Wednesday 4 April 2012

Student 200636787

Any account of a day in the life of a student has to begin with a hangover. I would feel that I was exposing the truth behind a much loved myth if I was to write otherwise – even if the student in question had had an early night after an evening of tea and a couple of episodes of The Wire.

After stumbling through the remnants of last night’s fancy dress costume, Student 200636787 makes it to the bathroom to scrub the handlebar moustache off his face and cleanse his hair of silly string.

Showered and refreshed he leaves Room 54B to catch his morning lecture. On the way out he passes a comatosed Flatmate 54J sitting on the kitchen counter with a half-eaten bowl of crunchy-nut cornflakes floating limply in warm milk. Sadly, no time to chat.

His bank account isn’t healthy so he is unable to pick up breakfast at either Quick Chef (where the vegetarian sausages provide the best recorded argument on why to give up meat) or Cuthbert’s (where the heart-shaped biscuits that arrive with his coffee never fail to lift his mood.)

After the lecture the crowd disperses with a heavy stream heading towards the Sydney Jones Library. 200636787 finds the library horribly distracting with everyone working so hard so will walk instead to the Plaza Café next to the Metropolitan Cathedral; sterile and home to all OAPs in Merseyside, but with little chance of being disturbed.

At 2PM, 200636787 has a committee meeting so scuttles off to the Guild Courtyard – not nearly as romantic as it sounds. He sits here for an hour nodding along and trying to say something sensible before heading back to his flat.

Back there Flatmate 54J is now singing along to Oasis full blast – 200636787 hurries into his room before Flatmate 54K is out and screaming for the music to be turned down. Here he dwells over Sir Orfeo for the rest of the afternoon highlighting a few lines and writing the odd note.

That evening he attempts to find the Harold Wilson Room (or was it the Macausland Lounge?) in search of his rehearsal with the Theatre Society (LUDS). He finds neither and spends the next hour and a half skulking around dusty staircases and dingy underground passages.

Eventually he ends up in the Saro Wiwa bar and waits for fellow thespians to arrive before the shutters come down. Once they are down, if they’re feeling grand, it’s to the Philharmonic for a pint of ale; if they are looking for a fine blend of class and kookiness, they will probably end up in either Santo Chupitos or Mello Mello (-or if they are not, Walkabout and Baa Bar are more appropriate.)

Or maybe he leaves his wallet and the student cliché on top of Sir Orfeo, and simply settles down to The Wire and mug of green tea.
Bertie Digby Alexander
London 2011

Originally published on

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